Sox may not carry extra OF with Crawford out

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Sox may not carry extra OF with Crawford out

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Outfielder Carl Crawford hasn't played in a game yet and is almost certain to begin the season on the disabled list, creating a temporary open roster spot for the first few weeks of the season.

Without Crawford, the Sox have only four outfielders set for the 25-man roster -- Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Sweeney, Cody Ross, and Darnell MCDonald.

But that spot might not necessarily go to a fifth outfielder while Crawford is on the DL.

"I haven't figured that out,'' said manager Bobby Valentine. "That roster spot could be a pitcher, it could be a utility (infielder), it could be an outfielder. It could conceivably be anything we wanted it be. Anything other than a starting pitcher.''

Among the utility players who might qualify: Pedro Ciriaco or Nate Spears. Both have brief major league experience.

Extra outfielders under consideration include Jason Repko or Josh Kroeger.

Any number of relievers could stick as the 13th pitcher on the staff as the club has yet to narrow down the candidates for the available bullpen spots.

"A lot of guys are doing real well,'' said Valentine. "I think when it comes down to about a week from today, we'll make a determination on how to start the season.''

Valentine said he would OK starting the season with four proven outfielders.

"It becomes kind of like the third catcher,'' he said. "If a couple of guys get hurt in one game and you get forced to play someone way out of position for a couple of innings? That's what it is, a couple of innings and the next day, you amend the roster. I'm not overly concerned with (not having a fifth outfielder).''

Sunday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Boston needs the good Buchholz to show up

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Sunday's Red Sox-Rangers lineups: Boston needs the good Buchholz to show up

Clay Buchholz hopes ot lead off the afternoon game better than his last start, where he game up a home run and double to leadoff the game against Chicago.

The righty has a career 4.10 ERA against Texas in 41.2 innings pitched against Texas with a 1-5 record.

Unfortunately for Boston, Buchholz is even worse at Globe Life Park. The righty is 0-3 with a 5.82 ERA in 21.2 at the Rangers home field.

The lineups:

RED SOX
Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Bryce Brentz DH
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Ryan LaMarre LF
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Clay Buchholz RHP

RANGERS
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Ian Desmond CF
Nomar Mazara LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Prince Fielder DH
Roughned Odor 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Mitch Moreland 1B
Bryan Holaday C
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Martin Perez LHP